For the second season in a row the Bears have brought in a player released by the Detroit Lions.
Last season was former 1st round pick Kevin Jones and this season it’s blocking tight end Michael Gaines.
Gaines was let go by the Lions, because they drafted TE Brandon Pettigrew in the first round this year.
Gaines signed a four-year deal worth ten million last off season with Lions.
A seventh round pick out of Central Florida, Gaines, has spent five seasons with three teams (Carolina, 2004-06, Buffalo, 2007 and Detroit, 2008).
The 29 year-old Gaines has played in 73 games, starting 41 of those games, catching 79 balls for 810 yards and five touchdowns.
He fumbled the ball three times last season and two of those fumbles were losses. One of those fumbles is pictured above, against the Bears last season on November 2, 2008.
Last years’ fifth round pick Kellen Davis, who was the third string TE last season will compete with the newly signed Gaines for the third tight end spot.
Don’t be surprised if Gaines beat out Davis for that spot, the Bears have been looking for a blocking tight end ever since John Gilmore left for Tampa Bay.
Even though Kellen Davis is a big target, Gaines provides an important aspect to the offense, an extra blocker for QB Jay Cutler.
I wouldn’t give up too soon on Davis if I were the Bears, he’s a very athletic kid, but maybe they’ll use Michael Gaines at fullback as well.
Gaines had this to say about his one-year deal with the Bears:
I never thought I’d be playing for Chicago because of the situation they have, but this is a privilege that they see me in so many different ways, the Bears had a plan for me. You can’t beat that when people have a goal and a plan mapped out for you at your position. If you put both [the Bears and Jets] together and looked at them on paper, the Jets made sense. But like I said, the Bears had a plan for me and there was just something about Chicago.
all quotes from chicagobears.com